In a new profile on Paul Dano published by The Guardian, his “The Batman” director Matt Reeves confirms they filmed “70 or 80 takes” of the Riddler and Batman’s final confrontation in the 2022 DC comic book tentpole. Dano starred as the film’s villain opposite Robert Pattinson. The film earned rave reviews (it was named the third best film of 2022 by Variety) and was a box office hit with $771 million worldwide. A sequel is set for release in 2025.
“Paul loves doing a lot of takes, as do I,” Reeves said. “We took two days on the final scene between him and Robert Pattinson as Batman. We must have easily done 70 or 80 takes. Paul loves exploring. He’s obsessive that way.”
“There were all these moments as the Riddler where he’d be tickled by something and then fly into a rage. You never knew from take to take where that switch would come,” Reeves continued. “I’d be sitting there with the headphones on, trying to stifle my laughter because he’d always do something surprising. Paul would ask me: ‘Was that crazy? Was that too much?’ I’d say: ‘No it’s fantastic. Let’s do another.’”
Dano earned praise for his performance as the Riddler. Reeves revealed last year that for one scene that required Dano to record his voice when the Riddler is heard over the phone, the actor recorded 200 takes.
“[Paul Dano] goes, ‘OK, let me try one where I’m off camera and I stick my head in. Let me try one where I’m already sitting there,’” Reeves said at the time. “He’s directing this one-person play on an iPhone…It was the giddiness that really got to me. Calling out the passing time, like he was a game show host. He was so inventive and creative. He’s also very critical of himself.”
Given that Dano’s Riddler ended “The Batman” imprisoned next to the Joker (Barry Keoghan), it’s likely he might pop up in the film’s sequel. “The Batman Part II” is set for release Oct. 3, 2025 from Warner Bros.